McDonald’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ Happy Meal Toys Celebrate Black Girls’ Dreams
By Alexa Heah, 25 May 2023
As Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid heads to theaters, the studio has partnered with fast-food giant McDonald’s to promote the film with its Happy Meal toys, in an effort to celebrate “wavemakers that dream beyond the surface to break barriers.”
It appears that the company will be releasing eight toys in total, including the likes of Ariel, Eric, Sebastian, King Triton, Ursula, Max, Scuttle, and Flounder. According to Delish, there could even be other treats in the form of themed apple slices or downloadable activity sheets.
The restaurant chain created a special advertisement for the tie-in, but instead of focusing on the Happy Meal and toys, most of the air time was dedicated to surfers Maizy Gordon, Bethany and Anaya Malone, Macie Smith, Olivia Whyms, and Penelope “Poppy” Brockhaus.
These athletes are part of the non-profit Black Girls Surf, an organization dedicated to providing training camps to women around the world. The crux of the commercial hopes to impart a message that girls should continue to “dream big,” just like Ariel does in The Little Mermaid.
As per Marketing Dive, in addition to the spot, McDonald’s will be making a donation to the charity and involving its members in experiences surrounding the film’s premiere in support of its causes.
“This commercial with McDonald’s is a visual reminder that we are all little mermaids. Since 2014, our organization has coached hundreds of young girls from the shores of California by way of Costa Rica, to the beaches of Senegal,” commented Rhonda Harper, Founder of Black Girls Surf.
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“At McDonald’s, inclusivity, imagination, and joy live in the DNA of every Happy Meal. For years we have worked with Disney to bring magic to life every day,” quipped Jennifer “JJ” Healan, Vice-President of US Marketing, Brand, Content, and Culture at McDonald’s.
“The Little Mermaid Happy Meal is an extension of that collaboration where even more fans can see themselves reflected in profound possibility and feel encouraged to dream big and make waves,” she added.
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